Sunday, September 24, 2006

Autumn Delights!

Happy Autumn!
I'm about as pleased as a pig playing in the mud. I am so ready for some cool brisk days, and we have had those in my part of Tennessee for the last week or so. WEll, actually it has been brisk nights and mornings, heating up at midday through about 3 pm, but I'm not complaining at all.

I'm almost at a loss for something to do in the gardens, can you imagin!
The annual herbs are past the point of harvest and the garden is still producing, well, okra and tomatoes at least.
Soon we will till those under and plant a nice patch of turnip greens.
Nothing better than fresh greens for Thanksgiving.
Turnip greens are so good for you, do you know they serve as a natural detox for the free radicals that take up housekeeping in your body and make you sick.

A fine autumn dinner to please any anyone would be fresh turnip greens cooked with ham bone. Sugar beets simmered in a small amount of honey and dill, and sage cornbread cooked until it is crispy and brown.

Lets get cooking!!

Happy Autumn and be blessed.

Bea Kunz

PS: I've had a few request for a zone map, this is about as good as I could find.
As you can see it is compliments of the NGA.


Anonymous said...

Hi Bea, when is the best time to plant turnip greens in Tennessee? I live in Dunlap, Tn. but I come from Alabama, too.
And I need to know how to put my herb garden to bed for the winter...( and the recipe for that cornbread!)


BeaK. said...

Hi Martha,

We are preparing the garden spot for the planting of the greens this coming week, will have them planted by the first weekend of Oct. I'm sure that will work for your area too, am I correct in thinking you are somewhere around Soddy Daisy
or Chattanooga.

How you treat your herb garden for the winter depends in part on what you are growing.

Rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, lavender and parsley will continue to produce all winter if it isn't too cold. The rosemary and thyme being the most hardy of the pack.
These herbs should have already been cut back and started a new growth for the winter. Any drastic cutting now will not give them enough time to toughen up before the winter sets in. So just lightly surround them with some type covering when the weather gets very cold, then you can trim them back in the spring.
I use straw or branches from tree trimmings. They don't need to be heavy laden with anything, just enough to keep the harshest elements from resting on them.
Never cover with plastic, they will sweat and freeze and or die.

For plants that die off completly and have to be replaced or comes back in the spring, I just allow them to die/or cut them down and go to compost in the beds.
Now for the cornbread recipe. This is so good!

I use a black iron skillet, heated in the oven with about 1 tbsp of shortening to coat the pan.

1 cup cornmeal( I use yellow and stone ground)
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1 cup+ buttermilk

Mix it all together (don't over mix)

If using fresh sage---I pour a thin layer of the mix into the pan, then lay fresh sage leaves, (about 5, one in the center and 4 around the edges. Then pour the remaining mix on top of the leaves.
Bake at 350 until crisp brown (or the way you prefere it)

If I'm using rubbed sage I just mix it into the batter.

This is wonderful with all manner of greens and dried beans.
Now, may I ask what part of Alabama you hail from?

I grew up in Walker county, about 40 mile nw of Birmingham, a farming community called Manchester, just north of Jasper.
Still have lots of family and friends there and visit often. I love hubby works for Bell South and this is where we will be forever I suppose. I love Tennessee also,
we have a great life here.

Lovely to meet you Martha, thanks for reading my blog and I hope you have visited my website. You might wish to join the newsletter mailing list, it goes out once a month on the first, it is free and I try to make it worthy of my readers.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions or just wish to stay in touch.
Sounds good to me.

Have a great evening,

Bea Kunz